Sunday, March 25, 2018

International Quilt Challenge

Wow, March is here already and while temperatures are still warm there is a hint of Autumn in the air. The mornings are slightly cooler and the day temperatures aren't getting quite as high as they were a week or so ago.

The other weekend I had the opportunity to see a very special exhibition at Cottage Flair in Rotorua, the International Quilt Challenge was on display and it was amazing. 30 quilters from 3 countries, New Zealand, Japan and France participated in creating their interpretation of 30 wonders of the world, 90 quilts on display. It was fascinating to see how each person had interpreted the photo and their result. It was a fantastic opportunity to see differences in construction, colour and techniques between the quilters of different countries.

The photo of the wonder was at the top of the board with New Zealand's artist piece at the top, Japan next with France on the bottom. Standing back and observing across the display, the colours and graphics were amazing. 

This was truly an amazing display of quilts and well worth the trip down to Rotorua to see them. 

I have more pics of these which I might share in the future.

Happy stitching everyone,
Cheers Donna-Maree

Monday, January 29, 2018

January is nearly at a close

January started with rain, however that didn't last long and we have been having high temperatures every day, all day and with little relief at night. This isn't quite what we are used to and I look forward to going out in the car with the air conditioning blowing at full blast. 

I have been working through January when most people are away having their summer holidays and that's okay with me, we will take a break later in the year when the temperatures aren't so high and it is more comfortable moving around. 

I did however attend a very special class last Friday in Whakatane, about an hours drive south from here in Tauranga. The class was with Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably which was organised by Daphne of Pins to Stitches in Whakatane. 

Wow, what a class. A lot of work had been put in to ensure the day was a success. The pace was quick but without stress and everyone worked steadily all day. Daphne had the most amazing range of fabrics available for purchase throughout the day, which was fabulous especially when it came to choosing a border fabric. Isn't it funny how you don't necessarily go with what you think in the beginning.

Kaffe and Brandon doing their critique of our days work. This was Daphne's quilt design working in black and whites, pushing her out of her comfort zone.

Lovely soft colours on this one. Each design was different even if using similar colours and there were a few lighter quilts and two black and white ones.

Kaffe critiquing my quilt. I decided to make the most of the fabric available and get what I needed to get this quilt done. I'm not wanting this to become a UFO. You can see the chosen border fabric hanging on the side.

I wish that I had taken a photo of the room before we started with our design walls up but empty. As the day grew the room was filled with the most glorious colour as the design walls were covered with everyone's designs. The morning was filled with everyone cutting and placing, however in the afternoon there was a lot of standing back and pondering especially when auditioning the border fabrics.

The room was air conditioned and those babies worked hard all day pumping out cool air for us to work in, it was fabulous. Part way through the day one of the ladies recognised my name and showing me her phone asked me if this was me on Instagram? It is fabulous meeting fellow instagrammers face to face like that and I look forward to seeing the progress on her quilt too. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this class and have never felt so relaxed when attending a class. There were four of us from Tauranga that travelled down for the class and I look forward to attending classes again with them in the future.

I have had this weekend off work which has been fabulous and I have the quilt half sewn together. 

I have some setting triangles to cut out and then I can get the last of the top together.

Check back soon to see how I got on with it. Until then, happy stitching everyone


Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Years Eve 2017

How did we get here so fast? It only seems like yesterday that we saw 2017 in.

Like all years 2017 has had its ups and downs and it kicked off on a low but thankfully has ended on a high. It has been interesting going back through the photos taken this year and reflecting on things. A lot has happened in the past year, to me personally, my family, the extended family and especially my quilting. 

There haven't been a lot of personal completions this year (an increase of days working has impacted there) but through the club more than 48 quilts have gone to two local charities with 18 of those going to Homes of Hope. There were a lot of Tuesday's spent cutting, measuring and stitching and a special thank you to my friends for supporting me through all of this. 

My blogging has become spasmodic while my instagramming has been consistent and while I do enjoy both I will continue to Instagram more than I blog but will work on being more regular with the blog posts. Sometimes it is hard to find the hours in the day to share what's happening in the moments.

Binding going on Harlan's quilt

Visiting Maroochydore and catching up with my sister and her family and meeting the youngest member of the family, Harlan, my great nephew was a highlight for 2017. It has been a while since hubby and I have ventured far from home and it was great to have some time away and relax. I'm one of three girls and we are now all Nana's. Being a nana is my most favourite thing in the world and seeing my sister become one was very special, knowing she is now experiencing similar moments with her grandy that I have with mine. Here is hubby with Harlan...

Something that has had a huge impact on my daily life for the second half of the year at least has been the arrival of our newest family member Milly Molly Mandy or Milly for short. She is the sweetest, most laid back, good natured dog I have ever met. She is an absolute delight to share the house with. Milly also loves walking on the beach as much as I do and we get there as often as we can.

Symposium held in Christchurch at the beginning of October was definitely a highlight for 2017. What an amazing experience, catching up with old friends and making new ones in a week of quilting classes, lectures, exhibitions and entertainment. I can't wait for Symposium Auckland in 2019. 

My painted piece ready for some thread sketching, lots of learning for me and definitely a change in perspective. I take a lot more photos now of a range of subject matter that may make interesting pieces. I love learning new things everyday and also seeing what tomorrow will bring.

Have a Happy New Year and keep yourselves safe.
Happy stitching everyone.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Paint and stitch from original photos

Wow, I don't know where the days are going, they are spinning by so fast.

As mentioned in previous posts my first class at Symposium was Paint and Stitch from Your Original Photos with Susan Brubaker Knapp. I haven't attended a three day class before and I was concerned that I would get very behind and I did. I tried very hard not to let it get to me and to work through it. I focused on why I was there which was to learn more about the painting process. 

Paint going on... Slowly but surely...

Shading and detail happening - finally

End of painting in class.

I have started thread sketching this piece but appreciate the amount of work ahead of me. I will continue to chip away at it until it is done. Check back later to see what else I have been up to as I am behind in my posts.

Happy stitching everyone

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Christchuch Quilt Symposium 2017

Wow, I am sitting here in the lounge at the hostel waiting for our shuttle to the airport wondering where the last six days have gone. They flew past in a flurry of busyness, including classes, lectures, exhibititions, events and catching up with friends. It was my intention to post daily but there just wasn't time, so I will do a catchup over a series of posts.

Symposium was held at St Andrews College with several exhibitions also around the city. Here are some pics of the school.

Us out to dinner at Tutto Bene. 

Will post more once I get home, until then happy stitching everyone.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Tauranga Patchwork & Quilters Exhibition Part 3

This last week has been very busy and after a wait here are more pics from the exhibition.

General overview shots

The following two photos show some of the detail of the butterfly of the winning Challenge entry by Sandra Bentley, isn't it amazing.

Absolutely stunning, Dance of the Dragonflies by Sandra Bentley

Flight also by Sandra Bentley

Two pieces by Dorothy Dixon, Feathers and Myrtle

Various entries from our Rosemary Rush class. 

Check back soon for the next group of photos from the exhibition. Until then, happy stitching everyone.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Tauranga Patchwork and Quilters Exhibition Part 2

Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day here in Tauranga and that combined with the election meant that it was a bit quieter at the exhibition. 

Here are a few pics but I will get lots today on my camera.

Quilters produce others things than just quilts and this dress is simply stunning.

There are four gridlock quilts in the show (more pics of those coming) however this one caught my eye and I had to have a closer look at it as I was walking past.

At first I thought the streaky colour was in the background and then I realised that it is the quilting thread and what a fantastic effect it gives the quilt.

My friend Denise Lee made this quilt and it has been a pleasure seeing it being created, however this is the first time I have seen it in person totally complete and it is simply stunning.

I love it when you discover something that adds to your quilting experience and on Friday I discovered Fusamat which is an applique ironing mat designed by Sharon Bradley of Waitomo Sew Worms, that I have tried out already and I love it. Check out Sharon's website Here

You can put your pattern sheet underneath the mat and then you assemble your applique on top like you normally do and press to fuse your applique. This mat stops the glue from the vliseofix from spreading and squishing out from under your fabric and getting on your iron or ironing board and therefore there is no need for baking paper or silicone sheet. 

The extra bonus is that because you can see through the mat and you have your pattern underneath you know exactly where to put the pieces when building your applique. The mat can tolerate very high heat which makes it perfect for the soldering iron for those creative projects.

The mat also has an unusual texture which stops pieces from moving around as you go to press things. The mats come in six different sizes depending on your needs. I love mine already and the mat is making applique so much easier and enjoyable, so here is to progress on another WIP (work in progress).

Milly, the puppy is now seven months old and she had her first proper groom the other day and is looking so much like a dog and less like a puppy. I just had so share a pic.

Don't forget the exhibition is on again today, with merchants, refreshments, club sales tables including a special babies and tots table - come on in and check it out today.

Happy stitching everyone.